Wake Up Call: Big Firms Fight Hong Kong Proposal to Limit Hiring of Foreign Lawyers

Oct. 23, 2018, 11:17 AM

• Global law firms including Davis Polk, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Paul Hastings, and Skadden, among others warned of “colossal negative repercussions” if a Law Society proposal goes through that would make it harder for Hong Kong-based firms to hire foreign and mainland China-based attorneys. ( South China Morning Post )

• Steptoe & Johnson LLP got Securities and Exchange Commission regulator Gary Goldsholle to come back to the firm as a partner in its financial services, public policy, and blockchain and cryptocurrency practices. Goldsholle started his career at Steptoe as an associate in 1991 before leaving for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1995, and, later, a variety of legal jobs in the financial industry. At the SEC, he was on the Fintech Working Group and a key adviser on exchange-traded funds and crypto trading platforms. ( Bloomberg Law ) ( Steptoe.com )

• The Supreme Court blocked the deposition of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in politically charged lawsuits that challenge the addition of a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. ( Bloomberg via Bloomberg Law )

• Baker McKenzie said its London-based global chair, Paul Rawlinson, is taking temporary leave because of “medical issues caused by exhaustion.” Bogota, Colombia-based partner Jaime Trujillo Caicedo will step in as acting chair. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Post-law school employment continued to rise in 2017 in a sign that law schools have adapted to the tougher job market, according to new data. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Stanford Law School got a $25 million gift, its biggest ever from an alum, that will allow students to spend a quarter studying business in various Asian markets. ( The Recorder )

• The Boston trial over whether Harvard College discriminates against Asian-American applicants is in its second week. Plaintiff Students For Fair Admissions is represented by appellate lawyer William Consovoy, of Consovoy McCarthy Park, while WilmerHale partner Bill Lee is Harvard’s lead lawyer.( Bloomberg via BLB ) It turns out the federal judge in the case, Allison D. Burroughs, failed to get into Harvard, even though her dad graduated from the school.( New York Times )

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

• Sidley Austin is advising Z Capital Partners and its portfolio company Affinity Gaming, a Las Vegas-based casino gaming operator, on their unsolicited takeover bid to acquire Full House Resorts, an owner, developer and operator of gaming facilities. ( PE Hub )

• Billionaire investor Carl Icahn agreed to sell American Railcar Industries Inc. for $1.34 billion to a subsidiary of hedge fund ITE Management LP, a Willkie client. ( Bloomberg )

Laterals, Moves

• Mayer Brown said veteran bank in-house litigator Megan Webster joined the firm from BMO Financial Group, where she was associate general counsel and head of U.S. personal and commercial banking litigation. Webster, who also spent a decade in-house at HSBC, becomes a partner in the firm’s litigation & dispute resolution practice, working from Chicago and New York. ( MayerBrown.com )

• Winston & Strawn scooped up attorneys Thomas B. Trimble and John David Bryant from Akin Gump’s Africa practice. Joining Winston’s emerging markets group in Washington, they will focus on energy markets in Africa as well as Latin American ventures. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Fox Rothschild said it added privacy and data security specialist Odia Kagan as a partner and chair of its GDPR compliance & international privacy group in Philadelphia. Kagan, who helps companies comply with the EU’s sprawling General Data Protection Regulation, was most recently of counsel at Ballard Spahr and has also been at Pepper Hamilton, and Tel Aviv firm Shavit Bar-On Gal-On Tzin Nov Yagur. ( FoxRothschild.com )

• Lowenstein Sandler said bankruptcy attorney Joseph J. DiPasquale joined the firm as a New Jersey-based partner in its bankruptcy, financial reorganization & creditors’ rights practice. He arrives from Trenk, DiPasquale, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C. ( Lowenstein.com )

• Carlton Fields added three associates to its national trial practice business litigation sub-group. David W. A. Chee, a former Florida assistant state attorney whose practice includes environmental law matters, among other areas, will work from the firm’s Miami and Washington offices. Chelsey J. Clements, focused on civil litigation for business clients, primarily construction entities, joins from a local firm in Orlando. Ryan P. Forrest was most recently a law clerk to a federal judge and focuses on products liability and class action litigation. He will work in Miami and Los Angeles. ( CarltonFields.com )

• BNP Paribas Asset Management said Adam Kanzer, a former litigator at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, joined BNP in its newly created role of head of stewardship, Americas, in its sustainability center, based in New York. The 1992 Columbia Law grad was most recently managing director of corporate engagement at Domini Impact Investments LLC. ( LeapRate.com )

Legal Actions

• Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents porn star Stormy Daniels in her fight against President Donald Trump, was ordered to pay $4.85 million to an attorney who worked with him at his former firm. ( Bloomberg Law )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.

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